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A forthcoming documentary exposes the reality of US pharmacy: “Would You Like Shots with That?”

The PDA is supporting pharmacists in the United States to crowdfund the production of a documentary about the Fast-Foodification of Pharmacy in the US. The film will expose the reality of the crisis happening behind what they call the “retail pharmacy” counter.

Wed 13th July 2022 The PDA

The PDA is proudly internationalist and engages with pharmacist and trade union colleagues around the globe on many issues. For an organisation serious about representing the interests of employed and locum pharmacists, an international perspective is essential, because international colleagues inform and learn from each other about each country’s working practices enabling them to develop and share best practice collectively. 

Those who only see the profession in the context of a single nation may mistakenly buy into the myths promoted by some employers, that the cause of workplace issues is that nation’s particular funding model, regulatory regime or similar factor. In fact, despite the US having a very different health system, etc. the issues described in the documentary trailer from colleagues in the US working for large chains, may be sadly too familiar to many PDA members.  Perhaps the common cause is those who prioritise profits above patients and above the profession.

The PDA believe in professional unity across the globe, for the good of others, and because whichever nation being considered, one question always exists: “If it can happen there, what would stop it happening here?”

 “Would You Like Shots with That?”

A documentary entitled “Would you like shots with that?” is being completed to expose the reality of the crisis happening behind the retail pharmacy counter in the US.  Those producing the film say:

When people think about the issues related to pharmacy they inevitably think of the opioid epidemic, as portrayed in the Netflix documentary “The Pharmacist” and the Hulu series “Dopesick”.

But sadly, the problems in pharmacy extend much further and have existed far longer.

Corporate chains like CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens have taken over community pharmacy, elbowing out patient-focused independent pharmacies, and forcing a retail sales environment. The chains have ratcheted up production for pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to a fast-food pace along with adding metrics for upsells and serving times.

Unbeknownst to the general public, this has been going on behind the counter for decades—far from ideal, but manageable.

But then Covid hit.

More specifically the Covid vaccines hit. Corporate chains took on the responsibility of vaccinating the nation, skyrocketing the workload but ignoring the staffing needs required to get the job done safely and effectively. Now pharmacies across the country are facing unsafe conditions for both pharmacy workers and patients.

The pharmacy community has been longing for someone to do a long-form piece that exposes the realities of pharmacy. This is precisely what we’re here to show—and change—with our film.

Watch the TRAILER:

About the Film

The film makers say:  The general public does not understand what happens behind the pharmacy counter. How can they? Retail chains have set up false expectations for patients by obscuring what the profession of pharmacy is all about and how essential each element of the workflow is to ensure patient safety.  

The film will educate the general public about pharmacy, highlight the flaws in the US retail pharmacy system, and how Covid-19 was the final straw that killed the camel.

The film will follow individuals dealing with the consequences of a broken pharmacy system in their everyday lives: the patients, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians.  To trace the history of these issues, experts in the industry will offer their knowledge and insight on everything from medication safety, legislation, and insurance reimbursement.

If you wish, you can help crowdfund the remaining production costs of the documentary,

Learn More

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In the UK we already have an independent trade union exclusively for pharmacists.  To find out how you can get more involved in the PDA’s activities, click here

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